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I saw it in Italy, sitting next to a guy fresh off the plane from France, and still don't have a good explanation for Zidane's headbutt. Though the French guy did say "He do zings like zat befoor..."

What says Tex, scorner of all things European, about the Tour de France? I'm all for cycling as a real sport, but *watching* cycling? I tried to get into it (when in Rome...), but it seemed very, well, NASCAR-esque. Watching a lot of guys go really fast, bascially waiting for a crash to generate some excitement...


And then Zidane won MVP (or whatever it's called) of the Cup! I mean, you can't make this stuff up. So did Rome go nuts? Did you personally torch any cars?

I think you're right about the comparison, the Tour de France is the European version of NASCAR. On the one hand, it's a little better because at least they're not going in circles. On the other hand, a crash doesn't have the potential for audience casualties that lends some minimal excitement to auto racing, so I guess it's a wash. I mean, it's amazing and impressive what those racers do, but I can't imagine watching it. I usually don't like any racing sports, although the swimming and speed skating events in the Olympics can be fun (it helps that they last minutes at most). For all I malign soccer, I would probably sooner watch it than the Tour de France.

I think the problem is that a sport is a lot more entertaining if teams (or individuals if it's 1-on-1) are trying to prevent the other side from winning, which is only minimally true in a racing sport. I mean, there's almost no 'defense' in racing sports, or golf, so there's no real offense either. It's just everyone trying unhindered to outdo everyone else. Without direct competition and the flow and strategy that evolves from that, sports usually aren't very interesting to me. Hell, I'd sooner watch chess, just because there's nothing more humbling then hearing everyone gasp at some pawn move while some announcer says "What an astonishingly bold maneuver!" when you have absolutely no idea what just happened.

Anyway, I'm sure there are good things about Europe. I probably like more European music than American (mostly British though). Less religious fundamentalism is a plus, along with fewer SUV's. European films seem better (not that I've seen a ton), but I wonder if that's just because their crappy films never make it here. And they're still allowed to teach science in science class. But I just can't stomach any major European sports I know of.

I just remembered with the Tour de France stuff the guy at Victoria's party early on who was a real barrel o' laughs. If he's a typical Tour fan, another strike against the sport...

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